How to Make Your December Extra Cozy

December is a month full of snow, festive tunes, and city-goers in a happy mood (unless you’re at the Eaton Centre.). While walking to class, it’s important to remember that not everyone celebrates Christmas, and that there are so many other religious holidays around this time! December is a great time of year to learn about other religions and their practices. When I was little, my mom would take my sister and I and some of our friends to a St. Lucia Day festival at the Harbourfront Centre. To this day I’m so grateful that I got to experience traditions from Sweden. Other holidays celebrated around December include Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, and Omisoka, which is Japanese. 

Regardless of the celebration, December should be a time to relax and recharge after pushing yourself through a tough semester at university. After writing exams, all I’d want to do is curl up with a book in front of a fire with some tea. This December, I’m making it my goal to have the coziest winter I can. This means creating the perfect recipe for a cozy, relaxing, and warm December through  fashion, decor, events, and of course, food and drinks. 

  1. 1. Fashion 

    Of course, what would December be without a few chic and cozy outfits that make you feel like you’re in a never ending hug? I hear you, commuting makes it difficult as the temperature change from outside to the TTC is disgusting, but that’s what layers are for! These items are a few must-haves for December. 

    Everyone has to have at least one cozy scarf to throw on over top of your school attire to keep your neck warm in the nippy months. This scarf from Aritzia is a perfect rosy red that’ll definitely bring out the colour in your nose. 

    Cute festive pants are also a necessity. Thrift stores like Public Butter or even Goodwill usually have a great assortment of checkered slacks. H&M also always has perfect pants for dressing up, like these

    Jackets are obviously a must when it gets cold in Toronto, and sometimes it can be a struggle to look cute and stay warm. But it is important to have one investment piece that can actually keep you warm, like this one from Columbia. For a stylish and simple jacket, try H&M. Don’t forget to always check Value Village - you might get lucky! 

    Of course, December brings Christmas parties, St Lucia Day parades, and more events that require getting dressed up. A pretty holiday dress can be matched with some simple tights, or even a blazer (think dressing up to visit Santa, but more mature).

    Lastly, no Canadian would get by without a warm hat and a pair of mitts. The Canadian Olympic mittens from Hudson’s Bay are a staple, and will keep your fingers warm on the walk from Dundas Station to the RCC!

  2. 2. Decor

    The second part of creating a cozy December is your environment. Hygge (pronounced hyoo-guh) is a Danish concept that is basically the feeling of being cozy, content, and fulfilled by the simple things in life. Hygge doesn’t just include material items, but can also be a fulfillment of the senses and perspectives. The winter months are the perfect time to try out this lifestyle! Some basic decor items for this December could include holiday decor from your celebration, like a Christmas tree, a menorah for Hanukkah, or red candles for St Lucia Day.  Candles are a necessary cozy item, and they can be super cheap, which is ideal for students. Blankets will also make your space cozy, like this one from Indigo. Generic winter decor will also put you in a cozy mood, like these white hanging stars, an orange garland above your fireplace, or pine tree branches around your mirror.

  3. 3. Events

    Being in Toronto, there’s always a plethora of festive events around the city. Probably the biggest and most impressive is the Toronto Christmas Market, held in the Distillery District. Vendors of all sorts will be there, and it’s the perfect place to find last minute Christmas gifts. They also have spiked hot chocolate, huge pretzels, and more snacks and foods to keep you fueled through the cold. 

    Going skating is also a great way to feel like a true Canadian and brave the cold. The Harbourfront rink has a beautiful backdrop of the CN Tower (for your Instagram pictures!), but City of Toronto rinks will be open as well. 

    And sometimes, something as simple as having a holiday party can be a fun way to wind down after a jam-packed semester. Have some friends over, bake cookies, prepare festive drinks, play holiday music, and pick a festive movie to watch.

  4. 4. Food and drinks

    Nothing screams “cozy” like a fresh mug of hot cocoa (real hot cocoa!) and some gingerbread cookies. Pinterest has tons of holiday cookie recipes and warm meals to inspire you in the kitchen. Festive drinks are also a must, like Christmas cranberry sangria and spiked eggnog

    Put these four things together and you’re bound to have a cozy, warm, and relaxing holiday break. Hopefully  you’ll be energized for January classes!